Unlocking the Meaning Behind Bones: What Do Bones Symbolize in the Bible?

Bones might not seem like anything special at first glance, but in the Bible, they actually have a deep spiritual significance. From the Old Testament all the way through to the New Testament, bones are used as a powerful symbol of both life and death. Understanding the significance of bones in the Bible can give us a deeper understanding of the messages that God is trying to convey to us through scripture.

One of the most famous instances of bones being used as a symbol in the Bible is in the story of Ezekiel and the Valley of Dry Bones. In this story, the prophet Ezekiel is brought by God to a valley full of bones that have been there for a very long time. God asks Ezekiel if these bones can live, and when he responds that only God knows, God commands him to prophesy to the bones, telling them to come back to life. After Ezekiel does this, the bones begin to rattle and shake, and eventually they come back to life as a great army.

This story is seen as a powerful symbol of the hope and resurrection that we can have through faith in God. By giving us this miraculous vision of bones coming back to life, the Bible is reminding us that even in the darkest and most hopeless of situations, there is always the possibility for renewal and new life. No matter how broken or dead our circumstances may seem, we can always have hope and faith in God to bring us back to life.

Bones symbolize mortality in the Bible

Bones are an essential part of our anatomy, forming the skeletal structure of our bodies. In the Bible, bones often represent mortality, emphasizing the physical nature of human existence and our inevitable mortality.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, bones are used as a metaphor for life and death, representing the impermanence of life and the reality of death that awaits us all. One of the most famous passages involving bones in the Bible is found in Ecclesiastes 12:7, which states, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Here are some other examples of how bones are used to symbolize mortality in the Bible:

  • In Genesis 3:19, God tells Adam that he will return to the ground from which he was taken, emphasizing the temporary nature of human life.
  • In Job 2:9, Job’s wife tells him to “curse God and die,” recognizing the reality of death and the despair that often accompanies it.
  • In Psalm 6:2, the writer pleads with God for mercy, stating that his bones are in anguish, representing the physical and emotional pain that we experience in life.

The use of bones as a symbol of mortality in the Bible also highlights the importance of our spiritual nature. While our physical bodies may decay and return to dust, our souls are eternal and will live on after death. This is evident in passages such as Psalm 16:9-10, which states, “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.”

Bones represent physical strength and power

In the Bible, bones are often used to represent physical strength and power. This symbolism stems from the idea that bones are the foundation of the human body and allow it to stand upright and move. The size and strength of bones can also be indicative of a person’s strength and ability to withstand physical challenges.

Throughout the Bible, there are numerous references to bones as symbols of strength and power. For example:

  • In Ezekiel 37:1-14, God takes the prophet to a valley filled with dry bones and commands him to prophesy to them. The bones come together, are covered in flesh, and become living beings. This is often interpreted as a metaphor for God’s power to restore life to his people.
  • In Psalm 22:14, the psalmist describes feeling as though all his bones are out of joint. This is a vivid image of physical weakness and pain.
  • In Proverbs 14:30, it is said that a sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones. This highlights the importance of a healthy spirit and the damage that negative emotions can cause to physical health.

In addition to these direct references, bones are also used in Biblical symbolism to represent strength and power in a more abstract sense. For example, in Matthew 3:12, John the Baptist speaks of Jesus coming with a winnowing fork to separate wheat from chaff. He says that the wheat will be gathered into the barn, but the chaff will be burned with unquenchable fire. This is often interpreted as a metaphor for the judgment of God, with the wheat representing the righteous and the chaff representing the wicked. The metaphorical use of bones in this context would emphasize the strength and power of the righteous in contrast to the weakness and destruction of the wicked.

Overall, the symbolism of physical strength and power associated with bones in the Bible underscores the importance of physical health and the role it plays in living a fulfilling life in service to God.

Bones serve as a reminder of faithfulness

In the Bible, bones symbolize the essence of who we are. They are a physical representation of our body, which houses our spirit. Bones have a significant meaning in various stories and passages of the Bible, and they serve as a reminder of our faith in God’s promises. Many times in scripture, bones are used to symbolize faithfulness.

  • In the book of Genesis, Joseph made his family swear to take his bones with them when they left Egypt. He wanted to be buried in the land of his fathers, as a symbol of his faith in God’s promise to give the land of Canaan to his descendants.
  • In the book of Numbers, bones are used as a metaphor for the Israelites’ faithlessness when they complained in the wilderness. God punished them with a plague, and the survivors were left to bury the bones of those who died.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet describes a valley of dry bones, which God brings back to life. This passage symbolizes the restoration of Israel’s faith and hope in God’s promises.

Bones also represent our mortality and the inevitability of death. Ecclesiastes 12:6 says, “Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered, and the wheel at the cistern is crushed.” This verse reminds us that death is a part of life, and we should live each day with a sense of purpose and faithfulness.

Overall, bones serve as a powerful symbol of faithfulness in the Bible. They remind us of our mortality and our need for a savior. They also represent the promises of God and the hope of eternal life for those who believe.


Bones play a significant role in the Bible, symbolizing faithfulness and serving as a reminder of our mortality. They represent both the promises of God and the inevitability of death. As we reflect on the meaning of bones in the Bible, we can be encouraged to live each day with faith and purpose, trusting in God’s goodness and love.

Genesis 50:25GenesisJoseph’s faith in God’s promise of the land of Canaan.
Numbers 11:33NumbersThe Israelites’ faithlessness in the wilderness.
Ezekiel 37:1-14EzekielThe restoration of Israel’s faith and hope.

These verses demonstrate the powerful symbolism of bones in the Bible and the importance of faithfulness in our lives.

Bones are Used as a Symbol of Future Resurrection

The use of bones as a symbol of future resurrection is a common motif in the Bible. This symbolism is deeply rooted in the Hebrew culture and traditions. The bone represents the core of man, the ultimate signature of identity and the supernatural power within them. Bones symbolize our entire being, and how we overwhelmingly need God to be able to live again. God had used this symbol many times throughout the Old and New Testaments to foreshadow the ultimate event, which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

  • In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet was taken in a vision to a valley filled with dry bones. God asked him if he thought those bones could come to life again. Ezekiel replied that he didn’t know, but God commanded him to prophesy to them and tell them that God would bring them back to life and put flesh on their bones. (Ezekiel 37:1-10)
  • Another story is the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Four days after his death, Jesus arrived and commanded that the stone sealing the tomb be moved away. He then called out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” and the man, who was wrapped in grave clothes, emerged from the tomb. (John 11:43-44)
  • Paul also emphasized the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, he mentioned that Christ died on the cross for our sins and that He was buried and raised on the third day, according to the scriptures.

The prophet Ezekiel’s vision and the Lazarus and Christ’s resurrection accounts are significant pointers to Christ’s resurrection, which symbolizes the resurrection of man. The quote from Job in Job 19:25-27 serves as a reference to the resurrection. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh, I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” This verse points to the fact that, as Christians, we shall also resurrect in the last days to meet Christ in power.

Ezekiel 37:1-10“And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
John 11:43-44“And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-6“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

In summary, bones are used as a symbol of the future resurrection in the Bible. This symbol is seen in the resurrection of Lazarus, the prophecies of Ezekiel, the writings of Paul, and the resurrection of Christ. It is a powerful symbol of hope, indicating that Christians will not perish but will rise again and meet Christ in glory.

Bones carry spiritual significance in burial practices

In the Bible, bones have great spiritual significance as they represent the essence of life, strength, and support. They are often used symbolically and metaphorically to convey deep spiritual truths. One of the key areas where bones carry spiritual significance is in burial practices.

The number five

  • The number five is associated with grace in the Bible. It is the number of God’s grace and mercy.
  • In the context of burial practices, there are five bones in the human foot, and the feet are the foundation of the body. This symbolizes the foundation of faith and trust in God, which will carry us through the journey of life and death.
  • The five fingers of the hand also represent God’s grace and mercy.
  • The number five is also significant in Jewish burials. According to Jewish custom, it is necessary to bury a person’s bones to show respect for the body. The bones are buried five cubits deep to prevent animals from digging them up.
  • Five is also the symbolic number of a minyan, the ten Jewish adults that are required to conduct public prayer services. The five bones in the foot and the five fingers of the hand remind us of the importance of community and the need to support each other in times of grief and loss.

The symbolism of bones in burial

Throughout the Bible, burying the dead was considered an important tradition that honored the deceased and showed respect for life. It was also seen as a way of acknowledging the reality of death and the importance of renewing life. When bones are buried, they become part of the earth and symbolize rebirth and renewal.

In Jewish tradition, the bones of the deceased are carefully washed and wrapped in shrouds before being placed into a casket. The casket is then buried in the ground, with the head facing Jerusalem. The act of burying the bones reminds us of our mortality and the need to cherish every moment of life.

The significance of bones in the resurrection

Bones are also associated with resurrection in the Bible. The resurrection of the body was an important doctrine in Christianity, and bones are often used as a symbol of resurrection. In Ezekiel 37, the prophet sees a vision of dry bones coming to life, representing the resurrection of God’s people.

Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul talks about the resurrection of the body, saying that the dead will be raised imperishable, with a new body that is no longer subject to decay. This idea of a new, resurrected body is a fundamental belief in Christianity and reminds us of the hope we have in Christ.

SymbolismBiblical Reference
Foundation of faith and trust in GodPsalm 118:22, Matthew 16:18
God’s grace and mercyExodus 34:6, Ephesians 2:8-9
Renewal and rebirthPsalm 30:5, John 12:24-25
Hope in the resurrection1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Philippians 3:20-21

Overall, the symbolism of bones in the Bible reminds us of the importance of life, death, and resurrection. They teach us to appreciate life and cherish every moment, to trust in God’s grace and mercy, and to hope in the resurrection of the body.

Bones are sometimes associated with sin and judgment

Bones have a significant symbolic meaning in the Bible, often associated with sin and judgment. In biblical times, bones were believed to be the last part of the body to decay after death and were seen as a representation of the essence of the person. Therefore, bones represent the physical remains of a human being and the consequences of their actions during their lifetime.

  • The number 6 in the Bible is associated with bones and sin. The book of Proverbs 6:16-19 lists six things the Lord hates, and the seventh is an abomination. These six things include a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, and a false witness who speaks lies.
  • The prophet Ezekiel uses the number 6 to represent sin in his vision of the dry bones. He sees a valley of dry bones and is asked by God if these bones can live. Ezekiel responds that only God knows, and then God commands him to prophesy to the bones. As he speaks, the bones start rattling, coming together into complete skeletons. Then, God tells him to prophesy breath into the bones, giving them new life. This vision symbolizes the restoration of Israel and the resurrection of the dead.
  • The number 666 is famously associated with evil, particularly in the book of Revelation. The number is believed to represent the Antichrist or the devil himself. The association with bones is that the Antichrist is seen as the embodiment of sin and wickedness, and his number is emphasized with the symbolic repetition of the number 6.

Bones as symbols of sin and judgment appear in various stories throughout the Bible. The dry bones vision of Ezekiel, for example, represents the judgment that God will bring upon sinners. The Israelites who rebelled against God and refused to repent were likened to dry bones, and their punishment was death. However, just as the dry bones were restored, so too could the Israelites be restored through repentance and obedience.

Furthermore, bones were often used as a reminder and warning of the consequences of sin. The bones of Ananias and Sapphira, for example, are mentioned in the book of Acts as a warning against lying to the Holy Spirit. After they lied about the price of their property, they fell down dead, and their bodies were carried out and buried. Their bones serve as a reminder that sin will not go unpunished, and that God sees and judges all things.

SymbolismBiblical References
Bones as physical remainsEcclesiastes 12:7
Bones as essence of the personJob 19:26
Bones as symbol of sinProverbs 6:16-19, Ezekiel 37:1-14
Bones as judgmentActs 5:1-11, Ezekiel 37:1-14

In summary, bones in the Bible symbolize the physical remains of the human body as well as the essence of the person. They are often used to represent sin and its consequences, as well as judgment. The number 6 is associated with sin and bones in particular, while the number 666 represents the ultimate embodiment of sin and evil. Bones serve as a reminder of the consequences of sin and the judgment that awaits those who rebel against God.

What do Bones Symbolize in the Bible: Bones Represent the Fragility of Human Life

The Bible often uses bones as a symbol of the fragility and mortality of human life. As Tim Ferriss writes in “Tools of Titans,” “Bones are the last things to decompose after death, and in ancient times, the bones of ancestors were often kept as a reminder of mortality and the fleetingness of human life.” This symbolism is evident throughout many biblical stories and teachings.

The Number Seven

  • Seven is a significant number in the Bible, and it is often associated with completeness or perfection. This is demonstrated in the creation story in which God rested on the seventh day, signifying the completion of his work.
  • In regards to bones, seven is symbolic of a complete and thorough destruction or desecration of the skeletal remains. In the book of Amos, God declares, “I will send fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth, and Moab shall die amid uproar, amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet; I will cut off the ruler from its midst, and will slay all its princes with him, says the Lord” (Amos 2:2-3). The following verse continues, “Thus says the Lord: For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because he burned to lime the bones of the king of Edom” (Amos 2:4-5). This burning to lime the bones of the king of Edom seven times is meant to represent complete and utter destruction.
  • The number seven is also linked to the resurrection and triumph over death. In the book of Revelation, the seven trumpets signal the end of the world and the coming of a new era. The seventh trumpet specifically represents the resurrection of the dead.

Biblical Examples

Many biblical stories use bones as a symbol of human mortality and the fleetingness of life. In the book of Genesis, Joseph requests that his bones be carried out of Egypt with the Israelites when they eventually leave. This is meant to symbolize his belief in the promise of God and his recognition of his own mortality.

Additionally, in the book of Ezekiel, the prophet has a vision of a valley filled with dry bones. God asks Ezekiel if these bones can live again, to which he responds, “O Lord God, you know.” God then commands him to prophesy to the bones, and they come together to form complete skeletons before being brought to life with breath. This passage is often interpreted as a message of hope and promise, with the bones symbolizing the resurrection of the faithful.

Bones in Context

While the symbolism of bones is strong and recurring throughout the Bible, it is important to read and interpret these stories in their proper context. The ancient world was filled with rituals and customs that may seem strange or confusing to modern readers. In order to understand the symbolic significance of bones, it is necessary to have an understanding of the cultural and historical context in which they were used.

SymbolismBiblical Example
Fragility of LifeIn the book of Job, the character declares, “My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth” (Job 19:20). This vividly illustrates the bleakness and fragility of human life.
The AfterlifeThe book of Daniel speaks of a day when “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). This use of “the dust of the earth” to describe physical remains is meant to symbolize the impermanence of the body and the promise of an eternal afterlife.

Overall, the use of bones as a symbol in the Bible is complex and multifaceted. While it often represents the fragility of human life and the promise of resurrection, it can also be used to convey other symbolic messages depending on the context of the story. By understanding the cultural and historical significance of bones, readers can gain a greater understanding of the symbolism present in these ancient texts.

Bones symbolize the importance of caring for the physical body as a temple

The Bible consistently reminds us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we must, therefore, care for them. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

One often-overlooked aspect of caring for the physical body is bone health. Bones provide structure, protect vital organs, and facilitate movement. Throughout the Bible, bones symbolize the foundation of our physical bodies and serve as a reminder of the importance of overall body care.

The Significance of Number 8 in the Bible

  • The number 8 represents new beginnings and rebirth. In the Bible, God made a covenant with Noah after the flood, and the new era of humanity began with the eight people who stepped out of the ark.
  • Jesus was raised from the dead on the eighth day, which is seen as a new beginning for humanity, as he conquered death and the power of sin.
  • Circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day after birth, marking the child’s entrance into the covenant community and showing the child had been set apart for God.

The significance of the number 8 highlights the importance of taking care of our physical bodies, as we are given new beginnings every day to honor God with the temple He has given us.

Biblical Examples of Bones as a Symbol of Body Care

In the Old Testament, there are several examples of how bones serve as a metaphor for overall body care. In Proverbs 3:7-8, we are reminded to “not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” This emphasizes that a healthy body comes from serving and fearing the Lord, leading to a body that can withstand the stresses and challenges of life.

Another example is seen in Ezekiel 37, where God shows Ezekiel a vision of a valley full of dry bones. These bones represent the hopelessness and decay of God’s people. However, through God’s power, the bones are brought back to life, representing a new beginning and a rejuvenation of the spirit. This reminds us that with proper care and attention, even the most hopeless situation can be transformed into one of vitality and strength.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Bone Health

Another vital aspect of caring for our physical bodies is proper nutrition, which is critical for overall bone health. Regular exercise and a balanced diet that includes calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients are essential for building and maintaining healthy bones.

FoodCalcium content (mg)
Low-fat yogurt415
Fortified orange juice375
Cheese (cheddar)307
Sardines (with bones)325

Consuming foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, such as those listed in the table above, can contribute significantly to building strong bones. Additionally, supplements provide an alternative source of nutrients that may be lacking in one’s diet.

In conclusion, bones are a vital part of our physical bodies, representing the foundation that supports our movement and protects our organs. In the Bible, bones symbolize the importance of caring for our physical bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. Proper nutrition, exercise, and spiritual nourishment work together to build strong bones and a healthy body. Every day presents a new opportunity to care for and honor the temple God has given us, leading to new beginnings and a life filled with vitality and strength.

Bones serve as a reminder of the consequences of disobedience

In the Bible, bones symbolize a lot of things, one of which is a reminder of the consequences of disobeying God. Many biblical characters experienced the repercussions of failing to follow God’s commands, and their bones served as a warning to future generations.

One of the most striking examples of this is found in the book of Ezekiel. In a vision, God takes Ezekiel to a valley filled with dry bones. The bones represent the Israelites who had rebelled against God and were taken into exile. As Ezekiel watched, God commanded the bones to come together, and they formed into complete skeletons. God then filled the bones with flesh and breathed life into them, symbolizing the restoration of the Israelites.

  • The dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision serve as a reminder that disobedience leads to death and destruction.
  • The bones also represent the hope of restoration and resurrection for those who repent and turn back to God.
  • Another example of the symbolism of bones in the Bible can be found in the story of Joseph.

After Joseph’s death, the Israelites carried his bones with them during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. This act of respect and devotion serves as a reminder that even in death, Joseph remained faithful to God and his promises, and his bones represent the Israelites’ hope of ultimately reaching the Promised Land.

The bones of biblical figures are not just symbolic of past events but also foreshadowing future events. In the New Testament, Jesus’s bones, or lack thereof, serve as a reminder of his resurrection and ultimate triumph over death. Thus, the symbolism of bones runs throughout the Bible, serving as a powerful reminder of the consequences of disobedience and the hope of redemption through faith and obedience to God.

Biblical Examples of BonesSymbolism
Dry Bones in Ezekiel’s VisionDeath and Destruction
Joseph’s BonesFaithfulness and Devotion to God
Jesus’s BonesResurrection and Triumph over Death

Bones are used to demonstrate God’s power over death and the grave.

Bones are often mentioned in the Bible as symbols of death and decay. However, they are also used to illustrate God’s power over death and the grave. This power is demonstrated through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead and conquered death once and for all. The symbolism of bones in the Bible reminds us of the eternal life that awaits us in heaven when we put our faith in Jesus.

The Numerology of the Number 10 in the Bible

  • The number 10 is used throughout the Bible to symbolize completeness and divine order. This is seen in the Ten Commandments, which represent the complete moral code that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.
  • The number 10 is also associated with the Ten Plagues that God brought upon Egypt in order to free the Israelites from slavery. These plagues demonstrated God’s power over the false gods of Egypt and showed His protection and provision for His people.
  • In the New Testament, the number 10 is connected with the Ten Virgins in Jesus’ parable, which symbolize the coming of the bridegroom (Jesus) and the importance of being prepared for His return.

The Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel

In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is led by God to a valley filled with dry bones. These bones represent the Israelites who had lost hope and were dead in their sins. God asks Ezekiel if the bones can live, and after Ezekiel prophesies to the bones, they come to life and are reassembled into living beings.

This vision represents God’s power to bring life out of death and hope out of despair. It also foreshadows the resurrection of Jesus and the ultimate defeat of death and sin.

The Bones of Jesus

The most significant use of bones in the Bible is in the resurrection of Jesus. After His crucifixion, Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross and buried in a tomb. Three days later, the tomb was found to be empty, and Jesus’ disciples reported that He had risen from the dead.

SkullRepresents the inevitability of death and Jesus’ victory over it
BonesRepresent the complete and undivided body of Christ
FeetSymbolize Jesus’ authority over all things, including death and the grave

The bones of Jesus, which were broken during His crucifixion, represent His sacrifice for our sins and His victory over death. Through His resurrection, we have the hope of eternal life and the assurance of God’s power over death and the grave.

FAQs About What Do Bones Symbolize in the Bible

1. What do bones represent in the Bible?

In the Bible, bones often symbolize strength and support. They are used to represent the foundation upon which beliefs and faith are built.

2. Can bones also represent death or mortality?

Yes, bones can also be associated with death or mortality. This is particularly true when bones are referred to as being dry or lifeless.

3. What biblical stories make use of bone imagery?

Many biblical stories involve bone imagery. One of the most famous examples is the story of Adam and Eve, where Eve is created from one of Adam’s bones.

4. Do bones have a negative connotation in the Bible?

Not necessarily. While bones can be associated with death and mortality, they can also represent strength and faith.

5. Are there any specific bones that are mentioned in the Bible?

Yes, several specific bones are mentioned in the Bible. For example, Ezekiel describes a vision where he sees dry bones come to life.

6. Why do bones show up so frequently in the Bible?

Bones are a powerful symbol that can represent many different things, from strength and faith to death and mortality. As such, they are often used in biblical stories and parables to convey important messages.

7. What can we learn from studying bone imagery in the Bible?

Studying bone imagery in the Bible can help us better understand the complex and nuanced symbolism used throughout biblical stories. It can also help us reflect on the importance of strength, faith, and mortality in our own lives.

“What Do Bones Symbolize in the Bible?”

Thank you for taking the time to read about what bones symbolize in the Bible. From strength and support to death and mortality, bones are a powerful symbol that feature heavily in many biblical stories and parables. By studying this imagery, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complex themes and messages present in the Bible. Be sure to check back for more articles on biblical symbolism and thank you again for reading!